Germany seeks ways to normalize relations with Turkey: FM


The German foreign minister said on Saturday that he will use his upcoming visit to Ankara to mend ties with Turkey.

"We are seeking out ways to return to normalized relations with Turkey," top diplomat Sigmar Gabriel told reporters in St. Petersburg.

Gabriel is due to travel on Monday to Ankara, where he is scheduled to meet Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu.

Tension between Turkey and Germany rose last week after a German parliamentary delegation was not allowed to visit the Incirlik Air Base, where German troops are stationed.

The move was in response to Germany's attitude towards Turkish deputies during the recent constitutional referendum period where Turkish officials were barred from holding meetings in Germany, drawing a strong reaction from the Turkish government.

In addition, Germany's uncooperative stance with regard to the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) has also been a source of tension as the country has been a safe haven for hundreds of FETÖ members, including high-ranking NATO military officers.

The two countries went through the same crisis almost a year ago. A German parliamentary defense commission delegation was not allowed to pay a visit to the Incirlik Air Base after the German parliament adopted a controversial resolution regarding the events of 1915.

Since 2015, Germany has stationed around 260 troops, six high-tech Tornado surveillance jets and a tanker aircraft at Incirlik Air Base.

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